Former Chairman Leaves $1 Million to DMEF

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The Direct Marketing Educational Foundation, New York, said yesterday that it received a $1 million bequest from John Yeck, the longtime chairman of the DMEF's Board of Trustees who died earlier this year. The gift, which will be acknowledged at the Direct Marketing Association 82nd Annual Conference & Exhibition in Toronto later this month, will be used to fund a new program to be announced soon. It is the largest single personal contribution the foundation has ever received.

Yeck was a partner in the Yeck Brothers Group, Dayton, OH, and was the first chairman of the Board of Trustees. He remained chairman from 1967 until 1998. During his tenure, the foundation grew from a single, week-long Collegiate Institute for about 30 college undergraduates to a slate of more than 20 programs a year for college students and professors.

The foundation sponsors the "Journal of Interactive Marketing" and provides other support services to improve direct marketing education and to help those interested in direct/interactive marketing careers.

"For as long as he was chairman, John's goal for the Foundation was 'This year better than last; next year better than this,' " said Richard Montesi, president/CEO of the DMEF. "This generous gift… has challenged and pushed us to create a program that will continue to make this year better than last for the next generation of direct and interactive marketers."

The bequest stipulated that the funds not be used for existing programs, so the DMEF said it would create a "significant new venture" in the near future. A spokeswoman for the DMEF, which is affiliated with the Direct Marketing Association, also in New York, said she wasn't sure if the new program would be decided upon in time for the Toronto conference.

"We're still in the discussion phase - there's a lot that has to be worked out," said Barbara Hruska, the DMEF spokeswoman.

She said the others have donated $100,000 and more to the foundation, which is funded exclusively through contributions, and that some corporations have given several large donations, but this is the largest single personal donation ever received.

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